The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,545 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Funny Games (2008)
Lowest review score: 0 The Nut Job
Score distribution:
5,545 movie reviews
  1. Like its narrative, this gripping film rarely veers in the expected directions — and is never easy to pin down.
  2. It feels as though wherever the camera might be—and however it might be moving—is exactly where it belongs.
  3. Though shocking violence and black humor run through the length of the movie, what comes through most strongly is its pessimistic political conscience; were the movie less earnest, it might seem Verhoeven-esque.
  4. Ramon Zürcher’s miniature debut, The Strange Little Cat, is one of the most confident and unusual first features in recent memory.
  5. It’s a credit to both Mackenzie’s talent as a director of actors and to the underlying humaneness of his vision that he argues that the right option is the more difficult and less predictable one — and that he does so without relying on sentimentality, unearned sympathy, or a happy ending.
  6. It’s not a documentary that reinvents the form or will alter anyone’s perception of the war, but sometimes a rich, exhaustive chronicle is more than enough.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Wetlands makes the internal external; the secret, scary bits of female anatomy are on display in a way that isn’t meant to be particularly titillating to the male gaze.
  7. It’s also just magnificently goofy, unafraid to court ridicule and confident enough to take captivating detours.
  8. The plight of this struggling family unit weighs more heavily on the heart with each passing minute, making Stray Dogs the rare marathon-length art film that seems to grow less oppressive the longer it goes on.
  9. The movie’s most tantalizing mystery is the question of what’s really going on in their heads. It remains unanswered.
  10. In examining the man’s selfless service, Moss uncovers something greater than a vision of a divided community; he’s made a drama as prickly and surprising as any fictional character study.
  11. Citizenfour offers a remarkably intimate look at history as it happened. In fact, the immediacy of Poitras’ film is so remarkable that, at least for the immediate future, her craft is likely to be overshadowed by her access, her storytelling overshadowed by her opportunity.
  12. If there’s any fault to find in this expertly directed, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego, it’s that Östlund basically arrives upon a perfect ending — one that brings the movie full circle, both dramatically and visually — and then bypasses it in favor of a more muddled one. But as climactic missteps go, it’s not exactly disastrous.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The film's strength lies in just how far it's willing to go-and to not go-in the pursuit of mythologizing its subject, a group of aging but unrepentant punks who treat the very idea of mythology like a bad joke.
  13. What Goodbye To Language presents — with its nonstop chatter, its endless musical and literary quotations, and its silly puns and poop jokes — is a dense, expressive, aggressive new medium rich with possibilities for juxtaposing images and creating meaning.
  14. Believe it or not, though, the real horror of this superb Aussie monster movie has almost nothing to do with the title fiend and everything to do with the unspoken, unspeakable impulses he represents. Remove the Babadook from The Babadook, in other words, and something plenty terrifying remains.
  15. Beyond giving a human face to Uganda's crises, Kiarostami attempts to capture the actual place, a swirl of contradictions as vibrant and beautiful as it is troubled.
  16. Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
  17. As the film takes shape, the form and the subject develop a fascinating symbiosis, with Derrida cast as an active participant in the deconstruction of his own documentary.
  18. Stillman's arch, clever dialogue is as strong as ever, and he conveys in every frame a genuine affection for his characters, however insipid their actions may be at times. These gifts make it easy to forgive Stillman's tendency to let his story meander, especially in Disco's second half.
  19. Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
  20. Emerges as something rare, an issue movie that's so honest and keenly observed that it doesn't feel like one. It earns its thesis statement through minute details and a unique grasp of a commonplace problem.
  21. Uncompromising in her art, her teaching, and her professional relations, Boyd makes for a classic tough old bird of a character.
  22. In the end, it's that reserve that makes it work. Keeping his distance, the director lets viewers see in full the moments in which grief turns the world into a narrow, never-ending tunnel.
  23. Though shorn of 20 minutes for its U.S. debut, the film's wry comic portrait of the Japanese Occupation during WWII hasn't lost any of its incendiary brilliance, both as a political provocation and as a brusquely humane take on the horrors and absurdity of war.
  24. Though it occasionally wears its metaphors on its sleeve, Ulee's Gold should, if there's any justice, find the same thoughtful-drama-hungry audience that made "Sling Blade" a hit.
  25. Smart in a rare way that matters greatly to good contemporary comedy: Like last year's "Flirting With Disaster," its script and direction underplay absurd situations, letting its characters amuse without showing the strains of forced wackiness.
  26. What Von Trier arrives at is a complex, contemporary, and deeply moving exploration of faith.
  27. Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
  28. Seasoned with amusing bits of fantasy, like a pizza topping that briefly curls into a smile, Friday Night captures the city at its most inviting, alive with the feeling that wonderful things can happen to ordinary people.

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